Development of cyclodextrin-enhanced soil remediation: from the laboratory to the field
Mónika Molnár,  Laura Leitgib, Éva Fenyvesi and Katalin Gruiz

Soil-bioremediation technologies based on natural biological processes are often viewed with mistrust and a lack of understanding. The intensification of bioremediation by using cyclodextrins is a recently developed innovative technology.

In situ complex cyclodextrin-enhanced bioremediation technology (CDT) has been developed to increase the efficiency of a natural biodegradation-based soil-remediation technology that is environmentally friendly and ensures sustainable land and soil risk-management. The demonstration and verification of CDT was performed within the Hungarian MOKKA project (2005–2008).

The primary aim of the research was to prove that CDT is a potential alternative biotechnology for reducing the hazards posed to the environment from hydrocarbon-contaminated sites, as compared with other less-intensive biotechnologies. The second objective was to compile and test a high-quality and generally applicable, integrated methodology for site assessment, planning, development and monitoring of remediation.

The scientific background for CDT, using randomly methylated ß-cyclodextrin (RAMEB), was established in small- and large-scale laboratory microcosm experiments. Based on these results, field experiments were designed and performed for the remediation of a site contaminated with transformer oil. In order to characterize the biodegradation processes in the contaminated soil and to evaluate the effect of the treatment, an integrated monitoring technique was used in both the laboratory and field experiments. This technique combined physical and chemical analyses with biological monitoring and ecotoxicity testing. After the technology was demonstrated on the contaminated site, an evaluation and verification of the CDT was performed. This comprised a complete material balance; the characterization of the risks; cost-efficiency assessment and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis.

This article presents a scaled-up concept for technology development and the main results of the laboratory and field experiments. The verification of CDT is discussed in this issue by Gruiz et al. (2009).

Key words: bioavailability, biodegradation-based soil remediation, cyclodextrin,  randomly methylated ß-cyclodextrin, soil bioremediation, technology development,  technology scale-up

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 17 (3-4), 599-610 (2009)

DOI 10.2462/09670513.976

© EPP Publications Ltd 2009 

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Article code 976